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THE DISCOVERI 
OF THE NORSEMEN ON THE 
NORTHEAST COAST OF 
AMERICA 



^ 



H ^Jfy> 



THEIR ATTEMPT AT COLONIZATION 



Translated by 
GUSTAVE NIEBAUM 

Member of the Council of the Geographical Society of the Pacific 



Transactions and Proceedings of the Geographical Society 
of the Pacific 



Volume VI., Part II. Series II. 
1910 



5^ H^. 'ijttt . f^OLAfxtLa rvu 



AUS 



THE DISCOVERIES 

OF THE NORSEMEN ON THE 

NORTHEAST COAST OF 

AMERICA 



THEIR ATTEMPT AT COLONIZATION 



GUSTAVE NIEBAUM. 



CONTENTS. 

PAGE 
Introdtiction — - 51 

About Biarne Herjolfs son's sailing 59 

Leiff, Erik's son, discovers foreign lands 62 

Leiff passes the winter there on the land and calls it V inland; 
sails thereafter home to Gronland and helps some ship- 
wrecked men - 65 

About Thorwald, Erik's son, Leiff' s brother, and Skraelling- 

Erne in Vinland 68 

About Thorstein, Erik's son, Leiff' s brother, and his voyages 

to Vinland - 71 

About Thorfind Karlsefne, how he came to Vinland and about 

Skraelling-Erne 74 

About Freydis, Erik's daughter, her voyage to Vinland and 

sca-ndalous doings:. 78 



INTRODUCTORY. 



Among the countless objects of worth in every line of knowledge 
and beauty that were consumed in the greatest conflagration of 
history, April 18-21, 1906, in San Francisco, were three large folio 
volumes of the Sagas of the Norse sea voyages, dating back more 
than nine hundred years. 

In these volumes were the Sagas describing the discovery and at- 
tempt at settlement of the northeast coast of North America. The 
discovery ranged from the coast of Labrador to the eastern 
Cape of Massachusetts. The attempt at colonization was in the lati- 
tude where the sun rose at half past seven and set at half past four 
on the shortest day of December. 

Those chapters which related to the discovery and first settlement 
of Wineland the Good, were translated by Captain Gustave Nie- 
baum for the purpose of study and comparison with other nar- 
rations to try to locate the landfalls of the first adventurers. 

That translation was not burned, and it is proposed to reproduce 
it so that it may be available for students in geographic research. 

As there are no dates given in that narrative it is proper to give 
a few words of introduction from one of the latest authorities*, 
not only for the exhibition of the dates generally accepted, but 
also to very briefly present the status of the question whether the 
Norsemen did really discover America. 

Professor Fischer was well fitted for such research, and for eight 
years had the active assistance of the Fathers of the Order that 



*The Discoveries of the Norsemen in America with Special Relation to their Eariy Car- 
tographical Representations. By Joseph Fischer, S. J., Professor of Geography, Jesuit College, 
Feldkirch, Austria. Translated from the German by Basil H. Soulsby, B. A., Superintendent 
of the Map Room, British Museum, Hon. Sec. of the Hakluyt Society. London, Henry Ste- 
vens, Son and Stiles, * * * 1903. One vol., Oct., pages VIII, bibliog. 12: Text 130: 10 maps. 



52 THE NORSEMEN ON THE NORTHEAST COAST OF AMERICA. 

reached into the archives of the Vatican, and into every library that 
contained ancient records. 

In his short preface detaiUng the Hnes of research he gives a very 
brief summary of the state of the question as late as 1898 which we 
transcribe. 

Page V: 

"The 'Antiquitates Americanae,' that epoch-making work by 
"Carl Chr. Rafn, (1837), has now for over sixty years enjoyed a de- 
"cided influence in the answer to the question: 'What did the 
"Norsemen discover in America ?' 

"Rafn seemed to have a complete mastery of all the Norse litera- 
"ture bearing on the subject, and it is quite intelligible that many 
"peculiar dicta should have been accepted merely on his authority, 
"though subsequent investigations have proved them unsound. 
"The followers of Rafn were numerous and uncritical, and went 
"much further than their master. Some of the arguments, which he 
"employed merely as a secondary support to his theories, were twis- 
"ted by them and described as incontestable and indisputable evi- 
"dence. Such a breach of all laws of criticism did not fail to arouse 
"a storm of opposition. The pseudo-authority claimed for the al- 
"leged Runic inscription on the Dighton Rock drove Bancroft into 
"an exaggerated opposition of cynical scepticism, or, rather, total 
"disbelief in the discovery of America by the Norsemen.* Since 
"the time of Bancroft there has been a large party of almost too 
"eager partisans of Rafn, as well as a strong opposition, of whom 
"Justin Winsor has been the most distinguished leader, f 

Page VI: 

"In Germany, France and England the experts were diametrically 
"opposed as in America. It required a Henrici to out-Herod Hors- 
"ford's wildest claims in the literary supplement to the Allgemeine 
"Zeitung (Munich) of April 12, 1892, and yet even Bancroft finds a 
"rival for scepticism in Professor Gelcich, when he writes: 'News 
"had reached Iceland that in the south or southwest, it was not 
"quite certain which, was situated a Vine-land, (Spain), where the 



*G. Bancroft, History of the United States; Vol. I, Cap. I. 
tj. Winsor, History of America; I, 6G, seq., 87; II, 33. 



RESEARCHES OF FATHER FISCHER. 53 

"sailor passed by wondrotis cliffs, (Fingal's Cave!), and in Ireland 
"white-robed priests led processions with banners flying, etc., etc. 
"This was all jumbled up in a legend dating from voyages to Hellu- 
"land and Wineland.'* 

"Such were the conflicting views eight years ago, when Hofrath 
"Dr. von Wieser induced the author to make inquiries of the dis- 
"coveries of the Norsemen in America." 

We need not follow Father Fischer further in detail. 

As Christianity had been introduced into Norway at that time, 
and pilgrimages made to Rome by the extreme zealous proselytes it- 
was natural that Father Fischer should appeal to the treasures of 
the Vatican. He was rewarded by the discovery of four important 
maps of Greenland differing from the two hitherto unknown Ptol- 
emy MSS. (Page VII). At Wolfegg Castle he was able to discover 
a valuable MS. by Donnus Nicolaus Germanus whose maps of 
Greenland correspond to those of the Ulm editions of Ptolemy of 
1482 and 1486; and was able to identify the Wolfegg MS. as the 
prototype of the Ulm editions. (Page VII) . Here he ' 'made a most 
"important discovery: the long lost large World Map and 'Carta 
"Marina' of the cartographer, Martin Waldseemuller (Ilacomilus) , 
"1507 and 1516, covering some 24 large folio sheets. This lucky 
"find was remarkable, if only for its maps on the discoveries made by 
"the Norsemen as well as on their relation to the later discoveries of 
"Columbus and his successors. It still has greater consequences as 
"regards the representation of the discoveries of Columbus and 
"Amerigo Vespucci. The first map of America of 1507 has at last 
"been unearthed and with the equally important 'Carta Marina' of 
"1516, helps to mark an epoch in cartography, which will be more 
"apparent when these two maps are reproduced in facsimile." 
(Page VII) t 

Reduced copies of seven of the maps are given in Father Fischer's 
work. His bibliography exhibits three hundred and twenty-one 
titles of works consulted. 

From so many sources of information he has arrived at an accep- 
table judgment of the weights which should be given to different 
Sagas, and to the authorities who had previously examined them. 



*Gelcich, Materialien. p. 104. 

t Prince Waldburg- Wolfegg values this Map of the World at sixty thousand guineas. 



54 THE NORSEMEN ON THE NORTHEAST COAST OF AMERICA. 

For our present purpose we shall extract only that part which 
covers the incidents of the first discovery and first attempts at 
colonization. 

Father Fischer agrees with Reeves that there were only two voy- 
ages to Wineland: the voyage of discovery by Leif the Lucky and 
the voyage of exploration by Karlsefni. P. 8-9. 

"Greenland and Wineland were known to the carHest Icelandic 
'town and family Sagas, as well as to historians and geographers of 
'high learning and good repute. 

About the year 1000 * * * "Snorri went on with Karlsefni to 
'Wineland the Good, and Snorri's son, Thorbrand, fell in battle, 
'when they fought with the men of Skraling in Wineland." P. 9. 
' * * * In these accounts we have the earliest notices of the dis- 
'coveries of the Norsemen in America. * * * Some of the pre- 
'vious accounts which were mainly by earlier explorers have been 
'entirely neglected by Justin Winsor, but have been duly empha- 
'sised by Storm and Reeves. The notices are very brief, especially 
'as regards Wineland. But we can trace a general consensus of 
'tradition in the northern regions, a tradition dating from the 
'11th century, and stating definitely that Eric the Red [theBloody] 
'discovered Greenland in the year 985 or 986 and colonised it. 
'Further his son Leif was returning from Norway to Greenland, 
'where King Olaf had commissioned him to spread the Gospel, 
'when he discovered Wineland the Good in the year 1000. Thor- 
'finn Karlsefni attempted later to colonise Wineland, but he was 
'unsuccessful as he was defeated in battle. 

"The hardy explorers discovered two other countries, Markland 
"and Helluland, situated to the south of Greenland." P. 10. 

Father Fischer then opens a new chapter to seek for fuller investi- 
gation of the details of the Sagas of the 13th and 14th centuries, be- 
cause there is diversity of authority as to the date, and the name 
of the first discoverer. 

He gives the definition of the lands discovered as follows, reck- 
oned from the north: Helluland, stony; Markland, wooded; Wine- 
land, rich in grapes. He also gives an explanation of the name~~ 
Saga. "The word Saga, which corresponds with the Greek X0709 
"[logos] was used by the Icelanders both for an historical report in 
"the strictest sense of the word, as for example, the Iceland Book of 
"Ari, and for what we call a mere legend. We therefore no more 



VOYAGES OF LEIF THE LUCKY. 55 

"accept every word and line of the Sagas as gospel truth, than we 
"should be justified in rejecting their authority in toto.'" P. 12. 

In his critical examination of two authorities Father Fischer 
says: "In the Book of Hauk, Leif, the son of Eric the Red, dis- 
"covered Wineland by chance in the year 1000 on the way home 
"from Norway, when he was carrying out the commission of King 
"Olaf to spread the Gospel in Greenland. 

"In the Flatey Book this honour is assigned to Bjame, the son of 
"Herjulf,who was searching for his father in Greenland, and he is 
"said as early as 985 or 986 to have sailed from Iceland and discover- 
"ed the countries known later as Wineland, Markland and Hellu- 
"land." P. 13. 

Father Fischer then investigates the authorities to obtain the 
most probable cause of the discrepancy, and makes out a reasonably 
clear case. 

He then writes, P. 17: "We will endeavour to give the main 
'historical facts of the voyages to Wineland, employing the ac- 
'cepted standard in a brief resuniQ. 

"Leif, a son of Eric the Red, started on his way from Greenland to 
'Norwa}^ in 999. He kept too far on a southerly course, but on the 
'first direct voyage from Greenland this error in navigation would 
'not be so apparent. At last he reached his journey's end, and en- 
'tered the service of the King of Norway, Olaf Trygvason. He was 
'converted to Christianity and remained at the Norwegian Court 
'till Olaf sent him in 1000 to evangeUze Greenland. Leif was driven 
'out of his course on the return voyage and sailed in unknown seas 
'for many days, till at last he came to an unknown country. There 
'he found grapes growing wild, corn [maize], and timber, suitable 
'for building houses. He took away samples of all these valuable 
'products. The adventurous mariners took a north-easterly 
'course and reached Greenland. Just before he came to land, Leif 
'saved a number of ship-wrecked men and received the name of 
'the Fortunate." 

"Christianity was introduced into Greenland in the winter of 1000- 
'1001, and was at first opposed by Eric the Red. The newly dis- 
'covered countries aroused popular interest which led to voyages of 
'exploration. Thorstein, a hero of the Sagas, and an elder brother 
'of Leif, took the lead in the expedition, which Eric also wished 
'to join; but on the way to the ship the aged father met with 



56 THE NORSEMEN ON THE NORTHEAST COAST OF AMERICA. 

"a severe fall, and was obliged to relinquish his purpose. The 
"accident brought disaster in its train. The adventurers never 
"reached their goal. Thorsteinand his band of twenty followers were 
"tossed about on the waves for months, and at last, weary and worn 
"out he had to return to Greenland. In the autumn of 1001, 
"Thorstein married Gudrid of Iceland, one of the heroines of the 
"Sagas, who arrived in Greenland with her father in the previous 
"year. Thorstein died the following winter at his Lijsefjord farm 
"in West Greenland, and Gudrid rejoined Eric in East Greenland. 
"In the summer of 1002, two Icelandic vessels arrived at Brattah- 
"lid, the home of Eric. One ship belonged to Thorfinn Karlsefni, 
"an enterprising and successful merchant, the other to Bjarne and 
"Thorhall of Iceland. With true Norse hospitality, Eric opened his 
"halls to the captains and their eighty men. Karlsefni made the 
"acquaintance of Gudrid, and Eric gave his consent to their mar- 
"riage in the spring of 1003. The news of the discovery of Wine- 
"land had an irresistible attraction for Karlsefni and his crew. 
"They determined to explore and colonise this El Dorado. P. 18. 

"The starting point this time was the west side of Greenland, 
"where Gudrid's home was situated. About 140 went out on this 
"expedition. Besides the two Icelandic ships and their crews, the 
"following sailed in their own vessels: Thorwald, a younger son of 
"Eric, and his sister, the Amazon Freydis, with her husband Thor- 
"wald, and Gudrid, v/ho accompanied her husband. The voyage 
"proved a success. The first point reached was a long, flat, stony 
"stretch, to which they gave the nameofHelluland, the Stony Land. 
"Two days later they reached a land of magnificent forests, which 
"they called Markland or Forest Land. Then, after a longer and 
"uninteresting voyage, the explorers came to a third land, where 
"two running scouts, a present from Olaf to Leif, found grapes and 
"com growing wild. The spot was a long way from the shore and a 
"difference of opinion arose as to the right route. Thorhall and nine 
"followers took a northerly course, and were driven by a storm to 
"Ireland, where they fell into captivity. Karlsfni steered to the 
"south, and came at last to a spot where he found both grapes and- 
"com growing wild. This, the explorers thought might be Wine- 
"land the Good, but no mention is made of Leifsbudir. The ground 
"seemed suitable for colonists, and houses were built. The natives 
"appeared in large numbers, sailing in leather boats, and the new- 



NORSE ATTEMPTS AT SETTLEMENT. 57 

"comers thought they would now have a favorable opportunity for 
"barter and exchange. But the natives made a furious attack upon 
"them, and Thorband of Iceland fell in battle. It was only after 
"repeated losses that the men of Skraling, who began the attack, 
"began to retire. Karlsefni, fearing a further surprise, would not 
"stay in this dangerous spot, and tried to settle further north. The 
"men of Skraling did not molest them again, but in the course of a 
"subsequent exploration, Thorwald, a son of Eric, lost his life as his 
"companions said, in fighting with 'a one-footed man.' Dissen- 
"sions broke out among the colonists themselves, for which the 
"women were to blame, and accordingly in the summer of 1006 the 
"colonisation scheme was abandoned. Karlsefni landed again on 
"Markland on his return voyage. On the beach were five inhabi- 
"tants of Skraling; three escaped, a man and two women, but Karl- 
"sefni's men captured two children, took them away and taught 
"them to talk." 

"Karlsefni and Gudrid, with their little boy Snorri, now three 
"years old, reached Greenland in safety, but Bjame's worm-eaten 
"ship lost its course and foundered. Half the crew succeeded in 
"reaching Ireland, and spread the news of the heroism of Bjarne, 
"who lost his life in saving a young sailor. No further attempts at 
"colonisation are noticed by the Book of Hauk, or by the earlier 
"Icelandic authorities." 

That ends the narrative of Father Fischer who then describes the 
growth of the Norse colony in Greenland. 

It is the foregoing brief account of the discovery and attempt at 
colonizing on the Coast of North America which is told in much de- 
tail in the Saga first mentioned, and which we now present as it 
was literally translated by Captain Gustave Niebaum, aided by his 
friend, Captain Chr. E. Lindquist. It is contained in chapters 
105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 110 and 111. 

It may be proper to add , for the benefit of those scholars who may 
wish to appeal to the original volumes from which this translation 
was made, that the title is herewith given in Old Norse or Icelandic, 
Danish or Norwegian, and Latin. The work must be very rare 
because it does not appear in the remarkably full bibliography of 
Father Fischer where he enumerates no less than three hundred and 
twenty Sagas, authorities and maps. We appealed to the Director 



58 THE NORSEMEN ON THE NORTHEAST COAST OF AMERICA. 

of the British Museum for the title ,and obtained it from the Curator 
of the Map Department. The English translation is The His- 
tory OF THE Kings of Norway by Snorre Sturleson. Captain 
Niebaum's copy was evidently bound in a manner different from the 
volumes in the British Museum. 

GEORGE DAVIDSON 
San Francisco, California. 
August 7, 1908. 



Heimskringla edr Noregs Konunga Sogor af SnorraSturlusyni./ 
Snorre Sturlesons Norske Kongers Historie. / Historia Regum 
Norvegicorum conscripta a Snorrio Sturlse Filio. / Quae Sumti- 
bus Serenissimi et Clementissimi Principis, Daniae Norvegiagque 
Haeredis Frederici, Magni Regis, Frederici, Filii. / Nova, emen- 
data et aucta editione in lucem prodit Opera Gerhardi Schoning 
Regi a Cons. Just, et Archivis Secretioribus. / Havniae Typis 
Frederici Steinii MDCCLXXVII. 



The above is the title of the Saga in the British Museum; and one of 
the Curators has kindly added the following memorandum: 

Icel, Dan, and Lat. 6 Tom. (Tom. 1-3 and part of Tom. 4, edited by 
G. Schoning: the remainder of Tom. 4 by S. Thorlacius; Tom. .5, 6 by B. 
Thorlacius and E. C. Werlauff.) Havnis. 1777—1826 tol. 



CHAPTER 105. 

ABOUT BIARNE HERJOLF's SON's SAILING. 

Herjolf was Bard's son and Herjolf's grandson, who was Ingolf's 
friend who first upbuilt Island [Iceland]. 

Ingolf gave this Herjolf land to settle on between Bog and Reike- 
nes. Herjolf resided first in Drepstock; his wife was named Thor- 
gerd, but Biarne their son, who showed himself to become one of the 
most worthy and most manly men. 

He found a liking in his youth to travel to foreign lands, where he 
accumulated soon and easily both goods and respect. He shifted 
about one winter foreign and another with his father. 

It was not long before Biarne himself owned a merchant ship. 

The last winter he was in Norrig [Norway] made Herjolf himself 
ready and left for Gronland with Erik and gave up his home. 

On Herjolf's ship was a Christian man from the Southern Islands. 

Herjolf lived on Herjolfsnas and was a much esteemed man. 
Erik lived on BratteHd ; he was the man who had the greatest worth 
and became of all held in great honor. 

These were Erik's children: Leiff,Thorwald and Thorstein, but 
his daughter was named Freydis, who became married to a man by 
name Thorwald and they lived in Garde, where now is Bishop-stool. 

She was a very highstrung and conceited woman, but Thorwald 
was a man slightly esteemed ; and she was given to him for the sake 
of his different character. 

This time were all the people in Gronland heathenish. 

Biarne came with his ship to Orene in the summer of the year in 
the spring of which his father had sailed away. 

Over these news wondered Biarne much and would not unload 
[discharge] his ship. 

Then asked him the ship's-folk, what he intended to do, but he 
answered, that he wanted to do as before and take winter quarters 
with his father, because I want to hold [said he] with the ship to 
Gronland if you should allow me your following. 

They said they were all willing to follow his advice. 

Then said Biarne, to many it may seem that our voyage is illy 
advised, since none of us has before sailed on Gronland 's Sea. 



60 



THE NORSEMEN ON THE NORTHEAST COAST OF AMERICA. 



Then proceeded they to sea when they were ready and sailed in 
3 days until the land became visible to them under the water. 

Then the wind calmed down, but in place thereof came north wind 
with thick weather, so that they knew not where they went, and it 
remained so many days. 

Then they sighted the sun, so that it was possible to distinguish 
the horizon. Then they set sail and sailed the following night 
and day before they sighted land, when they spoke with one an- 
other, what kind of land this could be; but Biame said he did not 
thmk it was Gronland. 

They asked then, whether he would sail to this land or not; it is 
my advice [says he] to sail ahead near to the land. 

They did so accordingly and then they discovered that the land 
was without mountains, but grown over with forest and had a few 
small heights. 

They let the land lie on the left side of the ship and the sail's sheet 
pointed to the land. 

Then they sailed 2 days, before they sighted an other land; they 
asked if Biarne believed that to be Gronland. 

He said he likewise as little believed, that this was Gronland, as 
the first [land they saw], as large icebergs are said to be on Gron- 
land. 

They soon came nearer this land and saw it was level and widely 
overgrown with forest. 

Then it calmed down, and said then the ship's-folk, it seemed to 
them advisable to land there, but Biarne did not want it. They ar- 
gued that they were short of both water and fuel; none of the parts 
need you, said Biame, but for all that he received therefor some crit- 
icism from the ship's-folk. 

He asked them to turn the sail, which they also did ; they pointed 
the forestem across from the land and sailed to sea with south- 
west wind in 3 days. Then they sighted the third land, it was high 
with mountains and icebergs. 

They asked if Biame would lay-to, but he said, he did not want 
to, as to me this land seems noncultivable. 

They did not then take their sail down, but sailed ahead along the 
land and saw it was an island. 

They turned then the sternpost toward the land and sailed to sea 
with the same strong blow. 



BIARNE COMES TO GREENLAND. 61 

But the wind increased ; then asked Biame his men to set the sails 
and not sail more than the ship and the ship's sails could stand. 

They sailed in this manner three days; then they sighted the 
fourth land and questioned Biame if he meant this to be Gronland 
or not. 

Biame answered: This land is most like what I have been told 
about Gronland and here we will lay to the land. 

They did so and landed in the evening under a Naes [ness-spit or 
point], where there was a boat. On thisNaes lived Herjolff, Biarne's 
father, from whom the Naes had received its name and is since called 
Herjolfsnaes. Biame went home to his father and gave up going to 
sea. He remained with his father while Herjolff Uved, but there- 
after lived he there after his father's death. 



CHAPTER 106. 

LEIFF, ERIK'S SON, DISCOVERS FOREIGN LANDS. 

Now follows to relate.that Biarne Herjolfs son came from Gron- 
land to Norng [Norway] and visited Erik Jarl and the Jarl received 
him well. -' 

Biarne related then about his voyage when he saw the [before 
mentioned] lands and it seemed he had not been very inquisitive as 
he did not have anything to relate about these lands, for which he 
was blamed somewhat. 

Biarne became the Jarl's envoy and departed for Gronland the 
fol owing summer, and there was much talk about the discovery 
ot the new lands. ^ 

Leiff Erik Raude's son from Brattelid came to Biarne, Herjolfs 
son, and bought the ship from him, for which he engaged ship's-folk 
so they were in all 35 men. 

Leiff bade his father Erik to be foreman for this voyage Erik ex- 
cused himself and said himself to be too aged to endure cold and wet 
weather as of yore. 

Leiff answered to this that he still might have [to this and an 
other business] the greatest luck among his friends. 

Then Erik consented to his request and rode from his home when 
they were almost ready for the voyage, and there was only a short 
road to the ship. 

The horse, upon which Erik rode, stumbled so that he fell to the 
ground and his foot was hurt ; then said Erik: I may not be destined 
to discover any more lands than this, where we now live, and we 
should not travel together farther. 

Erik turned back again home to Brattelid, but Leiff went to the 
ship with his comrades, who numbered 35 men. 

On this voyage was also a Southem-landish [German] man with 
them, named Tyrcker. 

They now prepared their ship and sailed to sea, when ready, and- 
found first that land which Biarne and his men found last. 

There sailed they to the land and cast their anchor, launched a 
boat on the sea and walked on the land, but saw there no grass. 

High inland were large icebergs, but from the sea, up to the ice- 



LEIFF SETTLES IN VINLAND. 63 

bergs, just like a stone [rocky], and it seemed to them that this land 
had no beauty. 

Then said Leiff: Now it did not happen us with this land as 
with Biame, that we did not land. Now I will give the land name 
and call it Mountainland. 

Then they went on board the ship and sailed to sea ; they found an 
other land, sailed thereto and cast their anchor ; then they launched a 
boat on the sea and went on the shore. 

This land was level and overgrown with forest, and where they 
went along was white sand and the shore-line shoal ; then said Leiff, 
this land shall have name after its formation; and he named it 
Markland [Forestland]. Thereafter hurried they, the soonest it 
could be done, back to the ship. 

They sailed therefrom again to sea with northeast wind and were 
at sea 2 days before they saw land, to which they sailed and came to 
an island which lay north of the land. 

There they landed and looked around in good weather and noticed 
that there was dew on the grass. 

Then it happened that they took in the hands some of the dew 
and carried some of this to the mouth, and it seemed to them, that 
they never had tasted anything as sweet as this was. 

Then they went to the ship and sailed in the sound which was bet- 
ween this island and a point, which lay northward from the land, 
and stopped westward beyond the point. 

There was very low water at ebb-tide and therefore their ship 
became standing on the dry, so that there was far to see from the 
ship to the sea. 

But they were in such a hurry to go on the land, that they did not 
give themselves time to wait until the sea rose again under their 
ship, but they leaped at once to the land where a small river emptied 
from a fresh lake. 

But when the sea rose up under their ship they took the boat and 
rowed to the ship, and conducted it along the river and thence into 
the water of the fresh lake. 

There anchored they and bore up from the ship their sacks and 
built there some cabins or warehouses, and concluded after that to 
prepare themselves to be there this winter, wherefore they bmlt 
there a large house. 

There was no scarcity of salmon either in the river or in the fresh 



64 THE NORSEMEN ON THE NORTHEAST COAST OF AMERICA. 

lake, Which [the lake or salmon ?) was larger than they some 

time before had seen. 

The land quaHties there were so good that it seemed to them no 

kind of cattle needed fodder wintertime; because there came no 

trost during the winter, so that herbs withered only sHghtly 
There was day and night more even than on Gronland or Island 

because the sun came upat half past seven o'clockand went downat 

halt past four o'clock, when the day was shortest 

T ^j'^^ ^/^.^^/,^ey were ready with their house-building, then said 

Leiff to his followers: now will I shift our folk in two parts and let 
investigate the land ; the one part of the folk shall be at home about 
the house, but the other part shall investigate the land, but how- 
ever not to go farther off than that they may come home again in the 
evemng, and they should not separate. 

Then did Hkewise some time Leiff do this and shifted about at 
following them or staying at home about the house Leiff was a 
man of big growth, strong, manly and respected, besides a wise man 
and informed on all subjects. 



CHAPTER 107. 

LEIFF PASSES THE WINTER THERE ON THE LAND AND CALLS IT VIN- 

LAND; sails thereafter home to GRONLAND AND HELPS 

SOME SHIPWRECKED MEN. 

It happened one evening, that there was missed a man of their 
party, who was Tyrcker the southem-landish man. [The German.] 

This worried Leifif very much as Tyrcker had very long been with 
them, both father and son, and brought up Leif! with great dili- 
gence in his childhood, 

Leiff therefore upbraided his folk severely and volunteered him- 
self with twelve others to go off and search for him, but when they 
had come a short piece from the house came Tyrcker toward them 
and he was well received. Leiff found at once, that his foster-father 
was in good humor. 

He [Tyrcker] was otherwise sharpsighted and quick to under- 
stand, had shifty eyes and was rather slight of face, small and scrag- 
gy of growth, but with this ready and handy in all sorts of arts. 

Then said Leiff to him: wherefore did you my foster-father drop 
behind and become separated from the party ? 

He spoke then first a long time in German, rolled the eyes here and 
there in the head and wrinkled his face, but they did not understand 
what he said. 

After some time said he in Norwegian: I was gone not much far- 
ther than you [also] two [both], and I can now tell you something 
new, namely I have found vine -trees and wine-grapes. 

May that be true, my foster-father, said Leiff; of course it is true, 
answered he, because I was there bom, where neither vine-trees 
nor wine-grapes are scarce. 

They allowed thereon this night to pass, but on the morning fol- 
lowing thereafter said Leiff to his ship' s-f oik: now will we take before 
us two things, each thing on its day. The one day collect grapes, 
but the other felling vine-trees and cutting in the forest until by this 
means we can obtain load for my ship; and in this manner they did. 

It is related that their hind-boat [the large boat which was bound 
to the ship] was filled with grapes. 

Thereafter they cut the load for the ship. 



66 THE NORSEMEN ON THE NORTHEAST COAST OF AMERICA. 

There were wheat-fields that seeded themselves and that kind of 
tree, which is called Mosur [Birch], and they took with them some of 
all this for show and proof ; some trees were so large , that houses were 
built thereof. 

In the spring they laid off and sailed away therefrom. 

Leiff gave the land a name from its beauty and called it Vinland. 

They sailed thereafter to sea and had good breeze until they 
sighted Gronland and the mountains underlying the icebergs. 

Then spoke up a man and said to Leiff: why do you steer the ship 
so up against the wind ? 

Leiff answered: I give attention to my business to steer, but also 
now to something else ; what new do you see ? 

They said nothing was to be seen, which could be called new. 

I do not know, said then Leiff, if I see a strip or a reef [cliff; 
rock]. 

Now looked they all that way and said that it was a cliff [rock]. 

But he had still so much keener sight than they, that he saw there 
some people on the cliff [rock]. 

Now I want that we hold the ship under the wind, says Leiff, so 
that we may come to them, if there are people who have our arrival 
in need, so it is necessary, that we may come to their assistance. 

But should they not be peaceable then it stands in our power 
what we want to do, but not in theirs. Afterwards sailed they 
up under the cliff [rock], let the sail fall, cast anchor and 
launched an other little boat [on the sea] which they had with them. 

Then asked Tyrcker: who was their foreman? The one who 
was this called himself Thorer, and said himself to be of Norwegian 
relation; but what is your name ? [asked he]. Leiff told him who 
he was. 

Are you Erik Raude [Erik the Red] from Brattelid his son ? 
asked he [again]. Leiff said it was so. Now will I, says Leiff, be- 
sides take you all on board my ship, with all the goods which can 
be stowed in the ship. They accepted the offer. 

Thereafter sailed they with this load to Eriksfjord until they caffle 
to Brattehd, and carried there the cargo off the ship. 

Leiff invited them, Thorer and his wife with three others, to live 
with them, but assigned the other ship' s-f oik, both Thorer' s and his 
own followers, quarters [at other places]. 



LEIFF THE LUCKY. 67 

Leiff saved 15 men from the cliff, and he was since called Leiff the 
Lucky. 

Leiff was after that lucky to earn for himself both goods and res- 
pect. 

This same winter were Thorer's folk taken down by sickness, of 
which Thorer himself died and the greater part of his folk. This 
winter died also Erik Raude. 

Now much was spoken about Leiff's voyage to Vinland and 
Thorwald, his brother, thought that the land was being investigated 
in really too few places. 

Then said Leiff to Thorwald: thou shalt, brother, if thou so wilt, 
sail to Vinland with my ship; but first will I let the ship go and 
bring that timber, that Thorer had laden back on the cliff; which 
also happened. 



CHAPTER 108. 

ABOUT THORWALD, ERIK's SON, LEIFF's BROTHER, AND SKRAELLING- 

ARNE IN VINLAND. 

Thereafter made Thorwald himself ready for this voyage, with the 
advice of Leiff his brother, and had 30 men with him. 

They made their ship ready and sailed to sea. Nothing is nar- 
rated about their voyage until they came to LeifE's warehouses in 
Vinland, where they laid up their ship and had there stillness over 
the winter and caught fish for their subsistence. 

In the spring said Thorwald, that they should make their ship 
ready and the ship's large boat should with some men proceed along 
the land westward and search the land there during the summer. 

To these the land seemed to be good looking, strongly overgrown 
with forests, but narrow between the forest and the sea. 

There was white sand, also many islands and very shallow water. 
They found nowhere either living places of people or animal-lairs, 
but on an island far toward the west found they seed-driers of 
wood, but more signs of handicraft of people saw they not there. 

After that turned they back and came in the autumn to Leiff's 
ware -houses. 

The following summer proceeded Leiff eastward with the merch- 
ant ship, and northward around the land. 

Then they received a severe storm, outside a promontory, so that 
they drifted on shore and broke the keel under the ship, on which 
account they remained there a long time. 

Then said Thorwald to his followers: Now will I that we shall 
raise up the ship's keel here on the Naes [spit] and call it therefrom 
Kjalamaes, which they also did. 

They sailed after that eastward of the land and looked into 
the entrances of the fjords, which lay next to them, [and pro- 
ceeded] to a promontory, which there stood ahead, and all over was 
overgrown with forest. 

Then they laid their ship in quarters and launched the gangway 
across to the land, and Thorwald walked up there with all his fol- 
lowers. 



THORWALD FALLS IN FIGHT WITH NATIVES. 69 

Then said he : here it looks nice and here will I raise my nestpole. 

Thereafter they went to the ship and saw there 3 heaps on the 
sand inside of the promontory, and when they came there, saw they 
3 skin boats and 3 men under each boat. 

Then they divided their people and captured them all, excepting 
one, who got away with his boat ; but they killed the 8 and went back 
after that to the promontory and looked there around. They saw 
inside the fjord a few elevations [high places] and concluded that 
there were settlements. 

After that they got so drowsy, that they could not keep awake, 
and fell asleep all. 

Then came a cry over them, so that they all awoke, which cry 
sounded Hke this: wake up you Thorwald and all you following, in 
case you will keep your life ; go aboard your ship with all your men 
and get away from the land the earliest you can. 

Then rowed out from the fjord an unaccountable lot of skin- 
boats and attacked them. 

Then said Thorwald: we should set up along the ship-side our 
war-shields [Stormtage]and defend ourselves manfully, but not fight 
much with them; and they did likewise. 

Skraellingerne [the scrawny or scrubby people] launched arrows 
upon them some time, but after that they retreated the quickest 
they could, each one as he saw fit [the best he could]. 

Then asked Thorwald his men if they had been wounded. They 
said that none had been wounded. 

I have received a wound under the hand, says he then, because an 
arrow flew between the ship's side and the shield in under my hand. 

Here is the arrow and this will be my last wound. [Bane 
Saar. ] 

Now give I this advice: that you make yourselves ready as soon 
as possible to return, but first should youconveyme to that promon- 
tory, which looked to me so good to live on; it happens to be true, 
what then came in my mouth, that I should live there some time: 
there you bury me and set up two crosses at the head and the feet 
and name thereafter [the promontory] Cross Point. [ Korse-Naes. ] 

Gronland had then accepted the Christian belief, but Erik 
Raude died for the bringing in of Christendom. 



70 THE NORSEMEN ON THE NORTHEAST COAST OF AMERICA. 

Thereafter died Thorwald and they did in all things according to 
what he had said. 

After that they departed and came to their shipmates [stall- 
brothers], when each narrated to the other what news they knew, on 
both sides. 

They lived there over the winter and gathered wine-grapes and 
vine -trees for the ship's cargo. 

But in the spring they made themselves ready to sail to Gron- 
land, where they arrived with their ship at Erik's fjord, and 
could tell Leiff great news. 



CHAPTER 109. 

ABOUT THORSTEIN, ERIK's SON, LEIFF's BROTHER, AND HIS VOYAGE 

TO VINLAND. 

It had in the meantime happened in Gronland, that Thorstein in 
Erik's fjord had taken to himself a wife and received in marriage 
Gudrid, Thorbiom's daughter, who before had been married to 
Thorer Normand, which is said before. 

Thorstein, Erik's son, desired to sail to Vinland and to bring from 
there his brother Thorwald's corpse. 

He prepared therefore the same ship for the voyage and selected 
for himself men of strength and build [stature]. 

He took along 25 men and Gudrid, his wife. 

When they were ready sailed they to sea until they saw no more 
land. 

They drifted about at sea the whole summer and did not know 
where they were, but, when within one week of the winter, landed 
they in Lysefjord in Gronland, in the western settlement. 

Thorstein searched for quarters for themselves, and got [quarters] 
for his ship' s-f oik, but himself and his wife got no quarters; therefore 
remained they on the ship several nights. Then was Christianity 
still new in Gronland. 

It happened one day that early in the morning some men came to 
their tent, whose foreman asked what folk there were in the tent. 

There are only two, said Thorstein, but who asks about it ? 

My name is Thorstein, [said the other] and I am called Thorstein 
the Black; but my errand here is to invite you both, yourself and 
your wife, to quarters with me. 

Thorstein said that he wished to consult his wife about that, but 
she allowed him to use his own judgment in this thing, and to this he 
said yes. 

Then I will come tomorrow [said he] with a horse and fetch you, 
because I am not short of anything to quarter both of you, but it is 
very quiet to be with me, because we are only two, myself and my 
wife, as I am very selfminded; I have also other customs [other be- 
lief in God] than you; still I believe yours to be better. 



72 THE NORSEMEN ON THE NORTHEAST COAST OF AMERICA. 

He came for them next morning with horse, and they left for 
quarters with Thorstein the Black, who kept them well there. 

Gudrid was a respectful, also prudent wife and knew well how to 
carry herself among strangers. Early in the winter came sick- 
ness among Thorstein's folk and died many of his followers. 

He had then cofifins made for those who died; and carry 
those to the ship and make there a place for them because I will 
[said he] in the summer have all the bodies taken to Erik's fjord. 

It was not long before sickness came in Thorstein's [the Black's] 
house, where his wife Grimhild first fell sick; she was uncommonly 
large of stature and as strong as a man, but for all that took the sick- 
ness charge of her. Shortly after was also Thorstein, Erik's son, 
taken down with sickness and they lay there both at the same time, 
and Grimhild, Thorstein the Black's wife, died. 

When she was dead went Thorstein out from the cabin after a 
[bier ?] to lay the corpse on. 

Gudrid said then: remain not, my Thorstein, long away; he an- 
swered, so be it. 

Then said Thorstein, Erik's son: very queerly does our house- 
mother conduct herself now, because she raises herself on the el- 
bows and carries the feet so easily over the bedpost and searches 
around for her shoe. 

At the same time came in the host Thorstein, and Grimhild laid 
herself down again so that it cracked in each beam and post in the 
cabin. 

Thereafter made Thorstein a coffin for Grimhild's corpse, carried 
it away and set it away in its place. 

He was both large and strong, but he needed all his strength be- 
fore he got her brought away from the premises. 

After that took Thorstein, Erik's son's, sickness a graver form so 
thathe died and his wife Gudrid took it close to heart. 

They were then all together in the cabin. 

Gudrid had seated herself on a stool alongside the bench, where 
her husband Thorstein lay. 

Then took the host Thorstein Gudrid in his lap and seated him- 
self with her on another bench opposite Thorstein's body, and 
entertained and consoled her in every manner: he promised to fol- 
low her to Erik's fjord, and to take there her husband Thorstein's 
and his followers' corpses; I will also [said he] take several house- 
messengers who can become your consolation and pastime. 



GUDRID AND THORSTEIN. 73 

She thanked him for this. 

Then Thorstein, Erik's son, raised himself in the bed and asked, 
where Gudrid was. He said this three times, but she waited. 

Lastly she questioned the host Thorstein, whether she should 
answer to this, or not ? He advised her not to answer. 

Thereafter went Thorstein farmer [host] across the floor and 
seated himself on the stool, but Gudrid sat in his lap. 

Then said the host Thorstein: what will you name ? He answered 
after a short time: I should willingly let Gudrid know her future- 
form [fate], so that she all the better could carry herself [get along] 
about my death, because I am arriving, I have now arrived to good 
resting places. 

Btit this I can tell you, Gudrid: that you shall get married to an 
Islandish man; you should long be together and leave after you a 
many-landed, large, manl3^ beautiful, famous and very handsome 
offspring. You should go from Gronland to Norrig [Norway] and 
from there again to Island, where you should settle down and be 
living there a long time, but shall outlive him and then go foreign 
and make a southemland vayage [to Rome] and when you come 
back again to your place, where in the meantime a church is [be- 
ing] built, you shall remain seated there and allow yourself to be 
consecrated to a nun, and thereafter die in the same place. 

Thereafter sank Thorstein down and his body was laid in state 
[prepared] and carried to the ship. 

The host Thorstein accomplished well all that he had promised 
Gudrid. 

In the spring he sold his property and his cattle and left for the 
ship with all he owned, together with Gudrid; he made the ship 
ready, got together ship-folk, and sailed thereafter to Eriks' Fjord. 

There were all the corpses buried near a church. 

Gudrid went to Leiff in Brattelid, but Thorstein the Black 
made his home in Erik's Fjord and lived there during his life and 
was considered to be a very manly and brave man. 



CHAPTER 110. 

ABOUT THORFIND KARLSEFNE, HOW HE CAME TO VINLAND, AND 
ABOUT SKRAELLINGERNE. 

The same summer came a ship from Norrig to Gronland; the man 
was called Thorfind Karlsefne, who steered the ship; he was Thord 
Hesthofdis' son, but this was Snorri's son, who was Thord from 
Hofde his son. 

Thorfind Karlsefne was an exceptionally rich man and remained 
over this winter in Brattelid with Leiff , Erik's son. 

He soon had his mind on Gudrid and asked her favor; but she 
sent him to Leiff for answer about this. 

Thereafter was she engaged to him and their wedding was held 
thereafter in the wintertime. 

There was still as before much said about the voyage to Vinland. 

There were also many, and Gudrid petitioned others, who ad- 
vised Karlsefne to such a voyage. 

Now was his voyage thither decided and he engaged 60 ship's- 
men and 5 women. 

Karlsefne made such an agreement with his ship's-folk,that they 
should divide between themselves in equal parts, all they received 
of [the land's] good things. They had with them all kinds of cattle ; 
as they intended to build up the land, if they could do so. 

Karlsefne asked Leiff for his house in Vinland, but he answered, 
he would lend him the houses, but not give them. 

Thereafter sailed they to sea with the ship ; came hale and in good 
condition to Leif's warehouses, and there carried up their sacks. 

Soon a good capture came into their hands, because there was 
driven up on the beach a large and valuable whale. 

They engaged themselves to this and carved it in pieces, so that 
they had no scarcity of food. 

After their young cattle had been on the shore, it soon hap- 
pened that the males thereof, which had not been castrated, be- 
came unmanageable [kaadt]. 

They had also brought a bull with them. 

Karlsefne let them fell trees and cut timber from them for his ship's 
cargo and placed the wood on a hill to dry. 



COMMERCE WITH THE NATIVES. 75 

They took there all sorts of beautiful things from the land's fruit- 
fulness, as it was there, both wine-grapes and all kinds of game and 
other valuable things. 

After the first winter was past and the summer came, they be- 
came aware of Skraellings, when there came from the forest a great 
mass of people. 

Near by was their horned cattle, and then the bull began to bellow 
very loud ; but over this became the natives scared and ran from 
there with their bundles, in which were gray-ware, sable-skin and 
all other sorts of skin-wares, and took the road to Karlsefne's living 
place, where they wanted to go inside the houses; but Karlsefne 
hindered them from getting inside. 

No one of either party understood the other's language. The 
Skraellings laid them down their bundles, loosened them and of- 
fered their wares, and wanted in preference to have arms therefor, 
but Karlsefne prohibited to sell them arms. 

He found then this advice, that he let his women-folk bring forth 
milk or milk-grub: when they saw this, they would have nothing 
else. 

The Skraellings' bargain was consequently this, that they car- 
ried the goods they purchased away in their stomachs, but Karlsefne 
and his men kept their bundles and skin-wares. 

In these conditions of things they left. 

Now there is to relate, that Karlsefne had made a strong plank 
fence around his premises; and they placed themselves there in 
standing and preparedness. 

About the same time gave Gudrid, Karlsefne's wife, birth to a 
male-child, which was called Snorre. 

In the beginning of next winter came the Skraellings and visited 
them, and they were more numerous than before, and had still the 
same kind of wares as before. 

Then said Karlsefne to the women-folk: now shall you bring 
forth the same kind of food which there was most of the former 
time, but nothing else, and when they see that, they throw their 
bundles in over the plank fence. 

Gudrid sat in the doorway with her son Snorre 's cradle. 

And there came a shadow before the door, and there entered 



76 THE NORSEMEN ON THE NORTHEAST COAST OF AMERICA. 

a woman in a black, crooked skirt, who was somewhat short of stat- 
ure, had a bandage around the head, light brown hair, a pale face, 
and was very large eyed so that never had anyone seen larger eyes 
in a human head. 

She went up to where Gudrid sat and said: what is your name ? 
My name is Gudrid [answered she], but what is your name? My 
name is also Gudrid, said the other. 

Then the hostess Gudrid reached out her hand to her, that she 
should seat herself with her. 

But at this time it happened that Gudrid heard aloud report, when 
the woman disappeared, and at the same time was a Skraelling killed 
by Karlsefne's houseman because he wanted to take their arms 
away. 

The Skraellings left as soon as they could, but their furs and 
wares were left behind. 

The before -mentioned woman nobody but Gudrid alone had seen. 

Now are we in need of good counsel, said Karlsefne, because I be- 
lieve that they will visit us the third time but with trouble and very 
strong in numbers. 

Now will we take this course, that 10 men should go along on the 
point and allow themselves to be seen there ; but the other folk shall 
go into the forest and cut there Rydninger for our horned cattle ; 
when the Skraellings' army emerges from the forest, we should also 
take our bull and let him go ahead of us. 

But that place which had been selected to fight on was so situated 
that a fresh lake was on the one side, but the forest on the other. 

Now was everything placed after the advice which Kalsefne had 
given. 

The Skraellings proceeded also to the place, which Karlsefne had 
picked for the fight. 

There came then a sharp fight and many of Skraelling-folk fell. 

There was a large and prominent looking man in the army of the 
Skraellings whom Karlsefne took to be their headman. 

One of the Skraellings had taken up an ax upon which he looked 
some time, but lifted it [thereafter] up against one of his party, and 
struck him with it, so that he at once fell down and died. 

Then took the large man hold of the ax, looked at it a short time, 
but threw it thereafter the farthest he could out on the lake. 



KARLSEFNE ABANDONS VINLAND SETTLEMENT. 77 

Thereafter fled they away toward the forest, everyone the best he 
could, and with this ended their fight. 

Karlsefne and his men were there the whole winter over. 

But in the spring made Karlsefne it understood that he did not 
want to remain there any longer, but intended to travel back to 
Gronland. 

Thereafter prepared they for the voyage and took along many 
valuable things, vine-trees, grapes and skin-wares. 

They sailed thereafter to sea and came with their ship unharmed 
to Erik's Fjord, where they passed the winter. 



CHAPTER 111. 

ABOUT FREYDIS, ERIK's DAUGHTER, HER VOYAGE TO VINLAND AND 
SCANDALOUS DOINGS. 

Then began afresh a talk about Vinland-voyage , because the 
voyage thither was held to bring forth both riches and respect. 

The same summer when Karlsefne came from Vinland, came 
also a ship from Norrig to Gronland, which was steered by two 
brothers, namely Helge and Finnboge, who remained over the 
winter in Gronland. 

These brothers were Islanders by descent, from Ostfjordens. 

Now begins our narrative therefrom that Freydis, Erik's daugh- 
ter, wandered from home, and proceeded to the two brothers, 
Helge and Finnboge, whom she asked to sail with their vessel to 
Vinland, and they should share half and half with her of all the 
goods which there could be gotten ; this they promised her. 

From there she went to her brother Leiff and asked him to give 
her the houses he had let construct in Vinland. 

But he answered the same as before, that he would rent the 
houses, but not give them away. 

The brothers and Freydis had otherwise such an understanding 
between themselves, that each of them should have on [each] ship 
30 fighting men besides women. 

But Freydis overstepped this at once, and had along with her 5 
men more than the others, and concealed them so that the brothers 
became not aware of them before they came to Vinland. 

Then sailed they to sea, but there was previously [between them] 
understood, that they should follow each other [during the voyage] ; 
the difference between them was also only sUght, but the brothers 
came there somewhat before [the others] and had carried their 
things up from the ship to Leiff 's houses. 

When Freydis came aftenvards to the land, they also made their 
ship fast and brought their gear up to the house. 

Then said Freydis: whatfor have you your things here ? Because 
we thought, said they, that our agreement should be kept. 



THE TREACHERY O? ?5.E1."D:5. 79 

To me has Leiff let the houses, answered she to this, but not to 
you. 

Then said Helge : hardly will we brothers hold out with you in bad 
things. 

Thereafter took the brothers their things away, and built another 
house which they placed farther from the sea, on the shore of a fresh 
lake, and put there all in good shape for themselves. 

Freydis let fell trees for cargo for her ship. 

Now came on the winter. Then proposed the brothers [to the 
others] to have gs.~e5 ini customary pastime; which they 
had for some time. m"::. : :th parties had done each other tricks, 
when they got quarr 1 ;: .: and held back from the games, so that 
nobody came from the one house to the other; and in this manner 
it went a large part of the winter. 

One morning early arose Freydis fro~ her bed and dressed her- 
self, but put on no shoes or stockings. 

But the weather was so conditioned, that much dew had fallen. 
She put her husband's cloak over herself and went then to the 
brothers' hotis-r . an i to the door; but shortly before a man had gone 
out and left - r standing halt open behind him. 

She locke dt and stood between it and the door-post 

some time, without saying anything. 

Finnboge was Unng innermost in the dwelling and vras avrake. 

He said: what wilt thou here. Freydis? 

She answered: I will that you get up and go out with me, be- 
cause I have something to teU you. 

He did so; and they went oflt to a log, which lay alongside the 
house, and seated themselves there. 

How seems it to you here r says she. 

He answered: it seems to me well about th^ ^ - 1 s frjitfulness, 
but illy it seems to me, that quarrel has arisen between us, as I 
think that for this no cause is given. 

It is as you say, answered she, likewise it seems also to me. 

But this is my errand to you, that I will exchange ships with you 
brothers, because your ship is larger than mine, and I will go away 
from here. 

That I shall let you ha\^. says he, if you in that way are satisfied. 

Thereafter they separated with this; she went home again, but 
Fiimboge to his bed and lav down. 



80 THE NORSEMEN ON THE NORTHEAST COAST OF AMERICA. 

When she stepped into the bed with her cold feet, Thorwald 
awoke and asked: why she was so cold and wet ? She answered then 
with much ill-temper. 

I went over to the brothers, says she, to make an offer on their 
ship, as I will purchase it, being larger [than ours]. 

But they became therefor so evil that they struck and handled 
me illy; but you worthless scamp will neither avenge nor punish 
the shame, which has been done to me and you; I now discover that 
I am not any more in Gronland ; and I will separate myself from you 
in case you do not avenge this. 

Now could he not any longer forbear her accusations and the hap- 
penings, but had his men get up at once and grab their weapons. 

They did so and proceeded at once over to the brothers' house, 
where they entered while they were asleep, and grabbed and bound 
them and carried this way each one bound out from the house, but 
Freydis let each of them be killed, as soon as he came out. 

In this manner were all the men-folk there killed, but the women 
were still left behind, whom nobody wanted to kill. 

Then said Freydis: let me have the ax; it was done ; and thereafter 
struck she all the 5 women that were there, and ceased not before 
they were all dead. 

Thereafter proceeded they back to their house after having done 
this bad deed ; and nothing else was noticed than that Freydis seem- 
ed herself in this to have done well. And she talked to her men then 
this way: when we come to Gronland again, says she, then shall I 
have that man done away with who mentions this affair; but we 
should say that they remained here behind, when we went away. 

Now early in the spring made they that ship ready, which formerly 
belonged to the brothers, and they took along of the land's products 
all that they found and the ship could carry. 

Thereafter sailed they to sea and had a rapid and lucky trip and 
came in time in the summer to Erik's Fjord. 

Then lay Karlsefne there, who had his ship ready to sail away and 
waited for wind. 

It is a wellknown thing that hardly any ship had sailed from 
Gronland with a richer load, than had this ship, which Karlsefne 
steered. 

Freydis went home to her place, which had stood uninjured, while 
she was away. 



THE ILL DEED DISCOVERED. 81 

She gave her whole following much goods and honor, so that her 
misdeeds should not be known. 

Thereafter remained she on her place. 

Still, after all, did not all her men keep their word as to silence 
about their misdeeds, so that after a while it became known to her 
brother Leiff , who seemed very much vexed about this story. 

Then took Leiff 3 men of Freydis' following and pressed them to 
confess, and all their stories thereof coincided. 

I do not intend, said then Leiff, to do so with my sister as she de- 
serves, but this can I predict to her and to her man, that their de- 
scendants will never thrive. 

Now it came to pass that all seemed to be against them from 
this time on. 



F. F. 'PAKTRIDGE PRINT, 136 Leidtiiorff Street. San Franeu 



ranetsco 



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